Opinion leader from this week’s SCO

Here is part of the opinion leader from this week’s SCO
NO DOUBT Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s challenge to the Labour Government will already have hit the headlines. After Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy admitted this week that Labour will need the support of faith groups if it is to win the pending general election, Cardinal O’Brien called for action and not words from Gordon Brown’s Government. The cardinal highlighted the fact that a raft of recent Labour bills have amounted to a ‘systematic and unrelenting attack on family values.’ He cited laws on civil partnership, same sex adoption and the recent Equality Bill as examples. Prior to the Scottish Secretary’s comments the cardinal also challenged Gordon Brown to show leadership and Britain’s commitment to nuclear disarmament by scrapping Trident during the Papal visit year.
Unfortunately likely secular headlines such as ‘Labour loses Catholic support’ are not only inaccurate, they are also misleading. The Church does not support ANY political party. The fact that members of the hierarchy are duty bound to challenge the political party that is in power, thus able to turn policy into law, is often grossly misrepresented in media. Nonetheless, policy must be examined to ensure that promises are delivered, actions and words must be scrutinised and matched.
In Scotland the Nationalists are in power and the Church has challenged the Scottish Parliament on a number of issues, including the current member’s bill on assisted suicide. At Westminster Labour have had close to 13 years of uninterrupted power. And in that time laws  have been passed that are so far removed from our values that our bishops would have been derelict in their duty had they allowed matters to proceed unchecked.
A General Election is imminent and all political parties will have to make sure that they deliver on promises made now if and when they then take office.
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